Pininfarina designs a Zamboni, because why not


From Italian sports cars like the Testarossa to Coca-Cola machines to battery-powered road missiles, Pininfarina has proven itself to be a design firm that won’t shy away from the unconventional. Its latest creation, however, might just be the coolest of them all.

Behold, the Zamboni ZX5, which debuted earlier this week at the FSB 2023 Trade Fair in Cologne, Germany. The ZX5 is a new collaboration between Zamboni (yes, that’s actually the name of the company; it’s a bit of a Kleenex situation) and Pininfarina, and it looks … well, like a very tastefully sculpted machine for resurfacing ice rinks. It’s also the first Zamboni model to originate from the pen of a third-party design house, which is neat.

Zamboni ZX5 front three quarter

“We are honored to partner with Zamboni, a family brand with a strong heritage focused on relentless innovation that has become synonymous with its own product category,” said Paolo Trevisan, vice president of design for Pininfarina of America. “Our shared vision has led to the birth of the ZX5, a pure representation of Zamboni’s DNA project to the future thanks to this innovative and intuitive design.”

Zamboni ZX5 high front three quarter glamour shot

Early versions of the ZX5 will be powered by dual electric motors that use lithium-ion batteries, chargable with either 110V or 220V power. (Most ice resurfacers in use today burn propane gas.) Those motors generate 27 horsepower each, for a total of 54 hp. For a machine that chugs along at perhaps 5 mph tops, that’s plenty. Pininfarina also claims that its Zamboni has a tighter turning radius than older models.

Zamboni ZX5 side profile white

A host of optional features, including neat bits like an on-board edger and a quick-change blade system, ensure that no matter your rink’s demands, you can have it looking glassy smooth in no time. Some of the main features like the flood water control and the towel lift (the rag that drags behind the Zamboni and flops quick-freezing water onto scarred ice to restore its smoothness) are now automated on the ZX5.

Zamboni says that the ZX5 is capable of resurfacing a sheet of ice up to 200×100 feet, a tad larger than the standard NHL rink size of 200×85 feet. The snow tank, essentially a storage compartment that stores all of the scraped-off ice, can hold 125 cubic feet of compacted snow. The onboard water-tank holds 200 gallons, plenty to rectify even the gnarliest of frozen surfaces.

Zamboni ZX5 front end

Things sure have come a long way in the world of ice resurfacing since Frank Zamboni first debuted his frankensteined Ford Model A in southern California in 1949. To see a design house like Pininfarina hop into the Zamboni game is quite fun, if a bit off-the-wall. We dig it.




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    The Zamboni Level-Ice system is cooler than this redesign! Level-Ice uses fricken lasers to ensure the entire rink is flat when resurfacing it, this is critical as some areas on the ice can become high or low spots over time based on use (goalies tear up the crease ice quite a lot). My local rink got a Level-Ice setup and a new (more boring looking than this Pininfarina) electric Zamboni resurfacer this past summer, the Zamboni drivers seem to love it!

    Tastefully done and resplendent in Toronto Maple Leaf blue and white. Bellissimo!

    200′ x 100′ are the dimensions of most, if not all European ice surfaces. All Olympic ice surfaces are also 200′ x 100′.

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